Is This Loud Enough?: Can’t Stay Away from Charli XCX

I was at a super-upbeat-bubblegum-pink concert for Marina & the Diamonds when I fell in love with the opening act, Charli XCX. What caught my attention were her shoes, because, well, shoes are the windows to the soul. I saw that curly fro-like textured hair paired with a ‘90s grunge outfit and five-inch platforms, and I instantly knew that girl was going to be good.

Charli 2 

When I found out that Charli would be in SF again, I had to get a ticket to see her. The show was originally scheduled for September, but was postponed later to November due to some reason I did not pay attention to.

What Should I Wear?

What I Wore:

Now, first off you should know that Charli XCX is my definition of tumblr. She is totally hip and trendy, with the perfect amount of old-school, edgy grunge. I based what I wore off of her outfit in the video “You (Ha Ha Ha)”, where she sports a matching crop top and leggings with a pair of super high platforms.

Charli writes her albums based off of colors, and I remember reading somewhere that this album was all about the color purple, so you know, I had to make this outfit all about purple.

Yu Ling x Charli 3 

Bam-bam chicken and ham! These are probably my favorite pair of shoes because:
1. They give me plenty of extra inches 2. They are totally ‘90s

Yu Ling x Charli 4 

Here I am looking away into the distance, really trying hard to be deep.

Yu Ling x Charli 2 

I went with my neon-purple, faux-suede motorcycle jacket (H&M), a matching crop top and leggings with a crystal-like pattern (Forever 21), a hot pink collar (no, it is not a visor, from H&M), and my Y.R.U. platforms (Hot Topic, can also be found on Karmaloop).

For a much simpler look:

As I mentioned earlier, Charli is all about grunge, so you could throw on a cropped, striped t-shirt, a red-plaid miniskirt, black Converse, and you’re good to go! Basically anything plaid/striped with the color palette of red, white, black, and grey. Check out what my friend Kate wore for an idea of what you could do:

Charli friend 

What should I eat before?

Since Slim’s is mostly general admission, you will be in the crowd with quite a lot of people. I’d recommend eating something pretty hearty since you’ll have to be in a sea of fans, standing for a couple of hours. I would say to go for a nice slice of pizza (also coincides with the very tumblr theme), because who doesn’t like pizza? It’s filling, but also not too messy. Not to mention very convenient!

Who should I go with?

I would classify Charli XCX as electro-pop, which means a night filled with jumping, head banging, and singing along. I went with a group of super-chill girls who were all fans of Charli. Really, you want to go with people that you know can have fun and also know the music. The crowd for this show was very young, and as much as I hate to say it, Charli’s music is kind of for hip, young teenage girls. That doesn’t mean that you can’t bring your grandpa to this show though, I’m sure he would still have a great time, but—back to the point—bring somebody who has high energy, is ready to jump a lot, pump their fists into the air, and sing along to these songs.

Fun fact:

I also ran into two friends that I made at the GaGa concert, Travis and Cody (which just goes to show little monsters stick together for life), so that was a super pleasant surprise. We got to talk about GaGa’s new album during the down time in between artists.

GaGa Friends 

THE CONCERT

This was the first time that I’ve ever been to Slim’s in my very long concert going experience (can you believe it?!). I met up with some friends who were waiting since around 6:00. Doors were supposed to open at 7. The venue is pretty small, but I like that because it feels a lot more intimate. I was in the second row, which annoyed me because the tallest guy in the whole room was standing in front of me. (I hate being short sometimes.)

The show was supposed to start at 8 pm, but the opening act took quite a while getting on stage. This is a small pet peeve of mine, when artists are not punctual. The only exception to this is Lady GaGa and Beyonce. Lady GaGa because she is Latey GaGa (we all know, psh), and Beyonce because…dude…it’s Beyonce.

After a while, the first opening act came on. Liz! She has a really interesting vibe to her, a very tomboyish style, where she wears oversized clothing and gold accessories, but still keeps a very feminine look overall. I actually really enjoyed her set; it was really girly pop mixed with baby-makin’ R&B—very smooth and groovy. She was a little quiet, but I think it’s because the bass from the speakers overwhelmed everything. Plus, she was a pretty good dancer! I don’t think the crowd enjoyed it much, however, since they seemed to have wanted something with a more electronic appeal.

Liz 

The second opening act was Kitten. I had seen Kitten before, I don’t remember if it was also at the Marina concert or the Paramore concert, since those were in the same week. But I just remembered thinking how crazy the lead singer was doing her interpretive dancing on stage.

Kitten 

This night, however, Kitten totally rocked the house. Being more up close, I really felt the stage presence of the whole band. They have a more punk-rock sound, it’s a little dirty and loud, but I really liked it. The lead singer, Chloe, had unbelievable energy that just lasted throughout their entire set. At one point, she sat on the shoulders of the guy who was in the front row, and boy, did he enjoy that. She was flirty, funny, and really just a ball of energy. Their songs were pretty upbeat and fun, so overall they got me really into their music, and very hyped for Charli.

After what seemed like forever, Charli finally took the stage!!!

She came out in all white (so stylish, love her), and was bouncing up and down, it was fantastic. She opened with “What I Like,” which is one of my personal favorites. She was so refreshing and happy, her energy was definitely contagious. Also, her hip sways and little finger points are just so adorable and yet so cool, you just can’t help but WANT to be her BEST FRIEND.

Charli XCX 3.09 

My personal favorites of the night:

Stay Away ” – One of her slower songs, but so good. She really captivated the audience with this one. We definitely couldn’t stay away (ha, get it, pun….okay, stopping now). It’s one of those songs that lets you take a break from all the synth-pop going on in the back to really just focus on her beautiful voice.

Nuclear Seasons ” – Oh my gosh. How can you not like this song? It’s so fun to bounce and sing along to, and Charli’s enthusiasm had the whole crowd pumped.

SuperLove ” – This is her new single, which is really upbeat and great to dance to. As I mentioned earlier, her True Romance album is all about the color purple, but her new one seems to be emitting a red tone, which I totally dig.

I Love It ” – This is one of those fist-pumping songs that you sing to at the top of your lungs. I Love It is actually performed by Icona Pop, but Charli wrote the song and gave it to them. She performed it nonetheless, and it was perfect because everyone in the room was in such a carefree mood.

I Want Candy ” – She sang “I Want Candy.” Like seriously, how much cuter can she get? Aaron Carter sang this in that one episode of Lizzie McGuire and I couldn’t help but flashback to that Christmas special. How much you want to bet she threw this in for some nostalgia?!

Charli 1 

My only complaint?

I disliked the fact that the show started so late. I was expecting 8 pm, and I can understand some lag in the beginning, but the amount of set-up time in between acts really dragged the whole show out. Plus I had the SAT II the next day, so you know, I was really hoping it would be a more timely show. But that is totally understandable since concerts are never really on time anyway. It ended up going until about midnight, so getting home would be more dangerous to those young’uns without a ride. I also thought the speakers were a little too loud (funny, because my column is entitled “Is This Loud Enough?”), and the musical sounds drowned out a lot of the singing, so I couldn’t hear a lot of the words, or sometimes the voice of the performer at all. Towards the end of the night, it got much better, so that was much appreciated. This actually doesn’t have much to do with the show at all, but it is a complaint I have to make. In the middle of “Superlove,” my mom called to ask whether or not I needed a ride, but she couldn’t hear my response so the whole time I was yelling “NO! NOT YET” into the phone as everyone was chanting “WANNA FALL INTO YOUR SUPERLOVE”. I know, that was my bad. Thanks a lot mom!!! #mothers

Summary:

All in all, Charli blew me away. Her energy was explosive, and she is just such a sweetheart. At one point during the concert, one girl got a little too wasted and started slamming into everyone in the front row, so she stopped the song to check if she was okay—what an *Angel*. I love her voice, I love her aura, and I love how everything about her is just so colorful and positive. Also, her opening acts were very good too! If you were looking to just have a good time after a long week, this was the concert to go to. Her “nuclear” stage presence, voice, and spirit is the main reason why you have to check her out live, and why I just can’t stay away.

Do’s:
-Do go with a group of friends
-Do sing along
-Do cheer for her
-Do clap for the opening acts
-Do have yourself a good time
-Do reach for the artist when they come close
-Do wear comfortable shoes (lots of standing)
-Do tell you parents ahead of time when you’ll be done

Don’t:
-Don’t get totally wasted, hurt others, and get yourself kicked out
-Don’t spend your whole night taking pictures
-Don’t check your phone in the middle of the concert #rude
-Don’t throw things on stage

I hope you enjoyed my review as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Until next time~

Words and images by Yu Ling Wu

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